Subsidy agreed for Petersfield and Buriton bus service
Friday, 08 March 2013
Hampshire County Council has agreed a subsidy of £73,000 to keep bus service 94 in operation for another 13 months, from 22 April 2013.
The contract will ensure the existing service between Petersfield and Buriton village can continue until the end of the original four year contract period awarded as part of the Alton area tender in January 2010. Bus operator RJB (UK) Ltd was awarded that contract but, unfortunately, ceased trading in January this year. At that time, Hampshire County Council arranged an emergency temporary contract to keep the service running and this expires on 21 April 2013.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: "We have worked to ensure the communities of Buriton and rural areas between the village and Petersfield are not left wholly dependent on the private car. With this contract, we have sought to maintain a service that will provide the means to access work, education and training, retail and health services using public transport.
"We have to consider bus subsidies against a background of reduced funding from the Government as well as a reduction in the rural bus subsidy grant. In doing so, we aim to protect services in rural areas as far as possible and work with bus operators and local people to financially support services that meet the needs of the widest section of the community, while achieving value for money.
Most bus services in Hampshire are provided commercially and are not under the control of the County Council which means that when and where the services run are matters for the bus operator. The County Council subsidises a small proportion (15%) of bus journeys in Hampshire - this is where bus companies are paid to provide services that are not commercially viable and would not otherwise be run. Around 8,700 journeys are made by Hampshire residents each week day on these subsidised services.